Friday, April 25, 2008

Final Project Web 2.0

Web 2.0 can be described as the next generation of the Internet as a social network. Web 1.0 has allowed users to get information by going directly to the source, such as, for Windows issues and for news. (Web 2.0 for Designers, 2008) However, as times have changed and the number of web users has increased, more people started writing their own content in addition to reading information on the web. To keep up with the demands, Web 2.0 was created to provide a new set of tools to combine and remix micro content in new and useful ways.

According to Wikipedia, “Web 2.0 is a trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to facilitate creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users.” These concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies (collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging). (Web 2.0, 2008)

After the first Tim O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference held in 2004, Web 2.0 became notable. “The concept of "Web 2.0" began with a conference brainstorming session between O'Reilly and MediaLive International Dale Dougherty, web pioneer and O'Reilly VP, noted that far from having "crashed", the web was more important than ever, with exciting new applications and sites popping up with surprising regularity.” (O’Reilly, 2008) Web 2.0 changes the ways software developers and end-users use the web. For more information on O’Reilly’s article, What is Web 2.0 Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software, visit the site .

Web 2.0 allows easy access and display of information such as blogs, pictures, and newsgroups. Users can share and publish content, communicate with others and select a specific group to communicate through a variety of online applications. Here are examples of Web 2.0 applications, which I have described utilizing eleven verbs, such as access, collaborate, communicate, create, edit, explore, insert, organize, receive, search and share.

Web 2.0 allows us to:
  • Access information, such as scholarly articles, media clips, or photos from the World Wide Web by using a search engine, such as Here is the link to visit
  • Collaborate with a group on a project by using . For more information on Google Doc visit: Google Doc in Plain English at
  • Communicate with a group on specific topics, such as health or healthy recipes on the World Wide Web by visiting different sites such as or communicate with others by visiting different web sites and blogs, which is a great opportunity to network and exchange ideas.
  • Create a web site or web page by using tools such as Microsoft Popfly Mashup (a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool) to display your ideas in a creative way or create a or webpage to keep in touch with friends and network with others. Here is an example of my Microsoft Popfly Mashup called Shakira: For more information on Mashup visit: Visit my MySpace site AngelMaribella: and my Facebook site: . To communicate with others on Facebook, create an account by visiting or create a blog to share your ideas or views on a topic by creating an account at .
  • Edit information in a Wiki page or create a Wiki page by visiting
  • Explore the Virtual World and enter into Second Life by visiting , change your name, appearance, and visit other people (avatars) from other countries, interests, educational purposes or businesses. Here is a link that describes my experience:
  • Insert your photos or tag photos from others online using a tool application named Flickr and display and share with others. Click here to visit my Flickr site:
  • Organize information received from others within your group to edit, track and make changes keeping group project/document centralized for your group to access and provide comments by using Google doc visit .
  • Receive updated information on topics that interest you by subscribing to web sites by using Really Simple Syndication (RSS). Visit my RSS blog for more information on What is RSS: .
  • Search for educational articles or information by using a search engine such as Google or ASU Ref Works to organize and save articles, journals and other information to complete research papers or to share with your colleagues. Also, search for video clips on different topics, such as educational topics by visiting .
  • Share your project or photos by creating and designing your webpage at . Here is my link titled: “Pugs and Kisses” I hope you enjoy .

For more information on Web 2.0 visit Web 2.0 for dummies visit

Works Cited

MacManus, R. and Porter, J. May 4, 2005. Digital Web Magazine: Web 2.0 for Designers. Retrieved April 24, 2008 from

O’Reilly, T. September 30, 2005. What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Retrieved April 24, 2008, from

“Web 2.0 for dummies” Retrieved April 24, 2008 from

Web 2.0. (2008) Wikipedia. Retrieved on April 24, 2008, from

Saturday, April 12, 2008

What is Really Simple Syndication?

"What interests me about Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is the ability to begin to monitor the flow of new information on the net. We all know what sites exist; what we really want to know is how often sites generate new information…” (Webreference, 2003)

According to Webreference, RSS is a lightweight XML (general format, a set of HTML-like tags) format designed for sharing headlines and other Web content. (Webreference, 2003) Really Simple Syndication or also known as Rich Summary Site (RSS), is basically a mini database that contains headlines and descriptions of what is new on your favorite websites and is a great tool for managing additional traffic to your site from repeat visitors. In addition, RSS is a useful tool to gather and distribute news. (Webreference, 2003) RSS can also be the basis for additional content distribution services. (Webreference, 2003) RSS has evolved into a popular means of sharing content between sites, such as CNN, Forbes and more. Since March 1999, RSS formats have continued to evolve. In 2005/2006, the RSS icon below first gained widespread use. (RSS, 2008)
Today, there are many more icons that identify RSS content. Some examples are listed below. Also, for a concise guide about RSS, including what it is all about, the numerous RSS icons, and how it works, visit: . This guide is for beginners who are not familiar with RSS and want to learn more about it. (About RSS Guide, 2008)

By using RSS you save time from having to search the Internet on topics or items that may be of interest to you. For example, you can receive news updates, updates on music for iTunes, get notified on items that you are waiting for on E-bay, track your favorite football team (Go Steelers!) and much more. In addition, RSS data can flow into other products and services, such as PDA's, cell phones, email ticklers and even voice updates. Even Email newsletters can easily be automated with RSS. (Webreference, 2003)

There are new ways to use RSS feeds almost everyday and in most cases goes beyond blogs and news. (Rubel, 2006) Steve Rubel from Micro Persuasion shares 35 Ways You Can Use RSS Today, to view go to: (Rubel, 2006) After visiting this site, I was surprised to learn how many topics were out there on RSS.

One useful tool when using RSS is an aggregator. According to Wikipedia, an aggregator reduces the time and effort needed to regularly check websites for updates, creating a unique information space or "personal newspaper." (Aggregator, 2008) Also, an aggregator is able to check for new content determined by the user, and retrieve the update, once a user is subscribed to a feed. This example is sometimes described as being "pulled" to the subscriber, as opposed to "pushed” with email or Instant Message (IM). Compare to recipients of some "pushed" information, the great function for the aggregator user is that one can easily unsubscribe from a feed, which allows the use of RSS to be a pleasant experience. (Wikipedia, 2008) In general, a web syndication refers to making webfeeds available from a site in order to provide other people with a summary of the website's recently added content, such as the latest news or forum posts.

For helpful tips on RSS, Youtube has a sketchcasting video by Richard Ziade called RSS for the Masses, that provides extensive detailed information on RSS visit: . (Ziade, 2007) Or for a short explanation video with the basic introduction on RSS, visit RSS in Plain English by Lee LeFever from Common Craft at . (LeFever, 2007)

After completing my research, I was ready to explore RSS. First, I selected a reader, I chose to use Google as my aggregator (feed reader), since I have a Gmail account with ASU, it was convenient. Second, I decided to set up my connection by subscribing to favorite sites by using the RSS icon. For some of my favorite sites, I subscribed to a feed by entering the feed's link into a reader or by clicking an RSS icon in the browser that initiated the subscription process. I subscribed for discounts on scrap booking supplies, latest information on health and all about pugs. Third, I checked my emails for my favorite articles to arrive. The process was not difficult, as I thought it would be in the beginning. RSS is a great concept. I wished I knew about it sooner. It’s simple, basically sign up for a reader and subscribe to your favorite sites to utilize RSS. The videos above were very helpful and provided me with information step-by-step on how to setup a Google reader account. To set up a Google reader account, visit

By completing this assignment, I learned what an RSS reader or an aggregator (feed reader) can be used to populate some of my desired content sites and not just for news. Many types of information can be formatted and syndicated through an RSS. The option to make any changes or stop subscription at any time is available. In addition, I learned to identify the common icons used for RSS. Since there are so many demands on my time (work, family and school assignments), I discovered that RSS can be a new way to save time while receiving my favorite updates on topics that interest me.

Works Cited

About RSS Guide. (2008) A MiniGuide by ZeldersÂș. Retrieved on April 12, 2008, from

Aggregator. (2008, April) Wikipedia. Retrieved on April 11, 2008, from

LeFever, Lee. (2007, April) Youtube. RSS in Plain English. Retrieved on April 10, 2008, from

Introduction to RSS. (2003, April) Webreference. Retrieved on April 11, 2008, from

Rubel, Steve. (2006, June) Micro Persuasion. 35 Ways You Can Use RSS Today. Retrieved on April 11, 2008, from

RSS icon. (2008) Data Mouse.Biz. Retrieved on April 11, 2008, from

RSS. (2008, April) Wikipedia. Retrieved on April 10, 2008, from

Ziade, Richard. (2007, October) Youtube. RSS for the Masses. Retrieved on April 11, 2008, from

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Second Life

AngelMaribella Joles

My avatar’s name is AngelMaribella Joles. I created my avatar in Second Life (SL). An avatar, according to Wikipedia, is defined as a computer user's representation of himself or herself, whether in the form of a three-dimensional model used in computer games, a two-dimensional icon (picture) used on Internet forums and other communities…It is an ‘object’ representing the embodiment of the user. The term ‘avatar’ can also refer to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user. (Avatar, 2008)

SL is a virtual world experience in 3D, created by its residents (people), who can use it for virtual entertainment, experiences, and opportunity. (Linden Lab, 2008). In SL, people are able to use the Second Life Grid, which serves as a platform for the SL world to reside and offers tools for business, educators, non-profits, and entrepreneurs to develop a virtual experience. Organizations can create their own space for communication, collaboration and community engagement.

Phillip Rosedale, who founded Linden Lab in 1999, had a vision, a mission to create a revolutionary new form of shared experience by allowing each person to utilize their imagination to achieve some of the impossible things they cannot experience in real life. If you would like to learn more about the origin of SL and its reaction to real life, view the video by going to: (Rosedale, 2007)

Linden Lab has over 200 employees in distributed network offices worldwide. (Linden Lab, 2008) The senior management team consists of experts in the field of physics, 3D graphics, and networking. It was interesting to discover that the team members for the company have previously worked at Electronic Arts, Apple, Midway, Disney, THQ, Acclaim, Hasbro, Mattel (all entertainment, gaming and technology companies), as well as many Web 2.0 companies. (Linden Lab, 2008)

Mr. Rosedale believes that innovative success stems from self-directed creation, collaboration, and openness. These are the company’s guiding principles, which steers the employees in their mission to help people realize their full potential by connecting them to a revolutionary virtual universe. (Linden Lab, 2008) Mr. Rosedale’s belief is included in Linden Lab’s mission statement, which reads: “It's our mission to connect us all to an online world that advances the human condition.” (Linden Lab, 2008) His belief along with his imagination has led him to create a virtual world in SL for many individuals to experience opportunities that are out of their reach in the “real world."

For example, researchers from the University of Texas in Dallas are using SL technology to help people with autism. (Tatton, 2008) This technology is allowing them to teach autistic children social interaction in a virtual world. SL allows individuals with autism to create a version of themselves, by selecting an avatar, which allows them to simulate themselves and learn how to behave in a unique 3D world. (Tatton, 2008)

The center for brain health uses SL with its patients, teaching them how to deal with social situations. (Tatton, 2008) Adults learn how to interact with others and how to speak and act. Also, children learn how to interact in the playground and lunch room and learn who to deal with, who to sit with and even how to deal with bullying. Abbi Tatton, a reporter from CNN, explains how second life is helping people with autism interact in social situations, to view video, go to:

SL is also being utilized in universities to enhance education, help students to interact with their professors, and teach students courses. Students can take courses, such as humanities or art, and have the ability to upload images or textures or even experience a virtual simulation of an ancient culture. To view a brief introduction of the world of SL by Juana Manuel, Librarian at the Texas State University, and how powerful SL is and has enhance education, go to:

In the picture above, my avatar is standing in Solaris, listening to music, interacting with others and exploring the land. I visited many places, such as Marbella Spain and experienced a fashion show. I went to the Oxygen Club and interacted with others. While dancing there, I by accident, landed in a sex orientation setting and got out quickly, and went to another place.

At first, my experience entering SL was uncertain. I spent about 30 minutes trying to download the software and figure out how to get started. When I began on the orientation island, I encountered a friendly avatar. His name was SL French Mentor Imagine John. He provided some tips, including how to modify my appearance and how to use Instant Message (IM). I learned how to use gestures, communicate with others, walk, sit, fly, dance and much more.

I discovered I was not able to drive a car and could not purchase items without Linden $ (SL currency). In SL, you can actually purchase land, fashion apparel, alcoholic beverages and much more with Linden $. In Business Week, Inside the World of Second Life, the article describes how SL residents can own their own creations and buy and sell them free with virtual currency. There are more than $5 million worth of transactions, in real US dollars, that are conducted each month among the 165,000 participants. (My Virtual Life, 2006) There is a real economy that has developed in SL, according to Business Week, several thousand of people run real businesses inside SL, some making enough to earn a real-world living. (My Virtual Life, 2006)

At this time, Wells Fargo has built its own branded island inside SL to teach young people how to be financially responsible. Other stores such as Wal-mart and American Express and Intel are considering using SL for their corporate training. (Newitz, 2006)

I met several male avatars, some were cordial, others flirted, and one was totally out of line. SL French Mentor Imagine John told him to escape from SL because he was abusing me. Being abused by an avatar unexpectedly scared me. However, that awful experience will not prevent me from visiting SL. My experience in SL was quite interesting. I was able to express myself and visit places I have not been able to see in real life. SL is more like an animated version of real life, enhanced with the ability to fly.

I found my experience quite incredible and entertaining. I am not someone who would normally play a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). My only previous experience was watching my brother play a MMORPG that had warriors and karate, watching heads fly off with blood. That was not a game for me. I actually lost track of time when I entered SL. I alleviated some of my stress. My focus was on adventure. I enjoyed visiting other places, making friendships, and the company of SL French Mentor Imagine John. Each individual can use SL for their own purpose whether to buy, sell, interact socially, learn new things, entertain themselves and others (even sexually!) and more. SL is a social network environment which, just as real life, each person has choices to make and places to experience. I believe that SL will not only entertain people, but also help businesses training employees, universities to educate students and even help those with disabilities to learn skills they can use in the real world.

As I completed my research, I discovered the most important thing about the SL world is that it is constantly changing and growing. I hope to see you in the SL.

For a list of free wallpaper and avatars click here to view, (Avatar, 2008)

Works Cited

Avatar. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from [external link]

Tatton, Abbi. (2008, April 4) Autism in a virtual world. CNN. Retrieved April 4, 2008, from:

Linden Lab. (2008). Retrieved April 2, 2008, from:

Manuel, Juana. (2007, September) Youtube. A brief introduction to Second Life. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from:

My Virtual Life. (2006, May 6). Business Week. Retrieved April 2, 2008, from:

Newitz, Analee. (2006, September 1). Your Second Life is Ready. Popular Science. Retrieved April 2, 2008, from:

Rosedale, Phillip. (2007, April 6). Youtube. The Orgin of Second Life and its Relation to Real Life. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from